Cute-animal consumers face a dilemma this time a year: How much are we allowed to enjoy watching people torture their pets for Halloween? You can binge on dog costumes, no matter how miserable they make the wearers. You can see a guy dress up like his dog’s favorite toy to the dog’s simultaneous joy and horror. You can watch people torment their pooch with plastic skeletons and other seasonal monsters. But the annual scourge on canine dignity tends to leave a sour note.
The San Diego Zoo offers a different path. In what has become an annual tradition, the zoo released another video this year of its Galápagos tortoises, many north of 100 years old, devouring pumpkins with great enthusiasm. (The 2014 edition, my favorite, is above.) This Halloween-themed activity is certainly cute, but there is also something festively eerie about watching these prehistoric creatures size up their targets, lunge, and snap down their beaks until there’s nothing left. It's oddly intense and satisfying.
The videos strike a sublime weird-adorable ratio best enjoyed after a spooky libation or two—and unlike humiliated pets, there is very little doubt the tortoises are enjoying the season as much we are.